The Great Ocean Walk is a multi-day hike, completed in 2006. It runs in a one-way direction, starting in Apollo Bay, before traversing across hills and valleys, clifftops and secluded beaches, marshes and inlets, before ending at the world famous Twelve Apostles.
Let your legs take you past some seriously impressive sights, taking in the treacherous shipwreck coast, and the land of the Gadubanud people.
The walk stretches for 110km, which sounds intimidating right? And depending on your fitness levels, and how quickly you walk, you’ll need to allocate between 4 to 8 days to complete the full track. But, if it’s something you’ve had on your bucket list for a while, and you’re unsure whether to commit, let’s dive into 5 reasons why you absolutely won’t regret hiking the Great Ocean Walk.
Running along the coastline, the track cuts through some impressive scenery. There’s swathes of bushland, clifftops, and beach walks. And plenty of places that can’t be reached by car.
Each day, just when you’ve adjusted to the scenery, you’ll be rewarded with something new, whether it be a lonesome surfer or a historical lighthouse. How many other walks can you think of with such a dramatic range of sights?
In a choose-your-own-adventure style, there are various options along the track to choose, an inland route, or down across a wild secluded beach looking out to the Southern Ocean.
If you like epic vistas along your walk, you’d be hard pressed to find something better.
Sleeping Koalas, wallabies, bounding kangaroos, migrating whales in winter, seals sunning themselves, rare birds, familiar birds, little penguins… this walk isn’t short on flora and fauna.
The area is home to a diverse range of wildlife, and the remoteness of the walk means you are on their turf.
Along the hike, have your camera ready, for a wallaby that thinks it’s the next Instagram influencer, or a Kookaburra that has its selfie-face ready. You’ll be spoilt by the range of native vegetation, and wildlife, that you won’t forget in a hurry.
Not so keen on 110km, or your knees won’t let you? Not a problem.
If you are reasonably fit and active, you’ll find the walk relatively straight forward, and will be able to do complete the full track much faster than 8 days. Walk-in campsites can be found at intervals of 10km to 16km, and the terrain is a mix of compacted earth, some beach stretches of sand, and sealed or fine gravel.
But if you need to go a little slower, you can opt to do sections of the track, and break it up, or even car shuttle for a day trip.
You can find some day trips and shorter options from local websites.
Some sections are also suitable for all-terrain wheelchairs, which can be hired.
Luxe or rustic, the choice is yours on the Great Ocean Walk.
If you opt to carry your pack and camp, the track includes built-in, walk-in / walk-out campsites to book along the way. These include a basic shelter for cooking and hanging out, a small area for tents, a compostable toilet, and a supply of water.
Evenly spaced, the campsites take a broad range of vistas, from secluded bays, to higher altitude mountain views, and each has a completely different feel.
But, if camping isn’t really your thing, and the thought of no electricity makes you break into a cold sweat, there’s plenty of companies that offer guided versions of the walks including accommodation.
Or, alternatively, why not car shuttle, to take full advantage of some seriously good accommodation in the area.
Who would have thought carrying a pack on your back, and walking everyday would be fun?
Sure, there could be a few blisters at the end, but the act of waking up and walking, being unplugged from your regular life, is something you’ll miss when you return to the real world.
That feeling of sitting at the end of the day, having a cuppa, watching a sun set over a beach, clifftop or forest is an experience you won’t forget in a hurry.
Or the feeling of blessed exhaustion when your head hits the pillow each night, after a long day walking.
The world of decent coffee and endless phone reception awaits, but you just might miss the wide-open skies, wild beaches and surprising trails when you’re back.
But potentially not your bed. You might be glad for that.
This isn’t just any walk. You’ll need to do some research to check what option is best for you, book your accommodation option, and what you need to bring. Make sure you plan properly, and carry all the essentials you’ll need.
Pick a time of year that’s not too hot, or too cold, weather-wise, and head this way, for all the info you’ll need on the Walk site, including maps check out the Great Ocean Walk.
Have you walked the Great Ocean Walk? In the comments below, let us know your highlights !
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